Christine A Howard

How to Help Your Child Take Care of Their Teeth

Parents know the importance of good dental care for their children.  It can be difficult to get your little ones to see the value in good dental care.  Some children are even afraid of not only dentist in general, but also tools necessary to keep their teeth clean at home.  There are things that you can do to help your child take care of their teeth.

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Good dental care is essential from the moment your child gets their first tooth. Remember that just because you can’t see their teeth, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. Teeth begin to form in the second trimester in most cases and at birth they actually have  20 primary teeth ready to develop and poke through! 

Your Baby’s Teeth

When your baby gets teeth, brush them with a specially designed infant toothbrush. You’ll want to use the smallest amount of toothpaste here as this can minimize the amount that is swallowed. Make sure to use infant toothpast as this does not have the fluoride like the other toothpastes.  When your child reaches the age of two, you can then teach them how to spit while brushing. Some parents encourage their child to swill their mouth out with water but in reality this increases their chances of swallowing the toothpaste.  By starting at birth, your child is less likely to develop a fear or an oral aversion to tooth brushing.  It will simply be part of their daily routine. 

dental office chair

Seeing a Dentist

A lot of professionals recommend that a child to sees a dentist around their first birthday. At this point, the dentist will explain how important proper brushing is and they will also do a modified exam as well.  These visits can really help you to find any problems early. They can also help you to get the whole thing sorted out with ease.

If your child has a fear of the dentist then this is completely normal. One thing that you can do to help make sure that they get the support that they need is to go to a dentist who specializes in children who have fears. The younger your child begins trips to the dentist, the easier the experience becomes.  Typically your child will not have many problems when they are very young, and the visits are simply fun.  Your child will begin to associate the trip to the dentist with a ride in a fun chair, a cool mask to wear and fun treats or prizes. 

That way as your child ages and problems do arise, they will be less likely to be too scared to comply.  You will also want to watch your child’s teeth as they develop and grow so you can take them to for a check-up before problems get bigger.  If your child is starting to get crooked teeth then it may be worth you looking into Childers Braces.

Preventing Cavities

Cavities happen when you have food or even bacteria left on the teeth and it isn’t brushed away. When you have acid on the teeth then this can collect on the teeth and it can continue to soften the enamel until you have a hole or even a cavity. It’s super important to make sure that your child is brushing their teeth twice a day and it’s important that they floss on a regular basis as well.

There are in fact, a couple of things that you can do to try and give your child the support that they need in regards to their teeth.

Avoiding sticky candy is essential and you will also want to discourage them from drinking too much soda as well. Of course, this can be difficult when they get to the age where they start going to school, but it’s important that you work with them to try and establish the fact that soda is bad for them so they can go on to make the best decisions regarding their mealtimes and even when they are out with friends.

toothbrush and toothpaste

Supporting Your Child’s Oral Health

There are in fact, a couple of things that you can do to try and give your child the support that they need in regards to their teeth.  Of course the first is teaching them good oral hygiene from an early age.  There are some children that will need more support than simply teaching them good habits.  Some kids have oral aversions or a fear of dentistry in general. 

If this is your child, try the tips below:

  1. Change the flavor:  Remember that if your child doesn’t like the taste of adult toothpaste, that there are plenty of children’s alternatives available for you to choose from and they are affordable as well.  
  2. Change the toothbrush:  There are lots a toothbrushes to choose from.  Some children like the toothbrushes that play music.  They know that when the music stops, they can be done.  Additionally, there are toothbrushes without bristles.  These may be a stepping stone to cure the sensory issues some children have with brushing.
  3. Rewards:  Try out a reward system and start small.  At first the reward may be that the child put the brush in their mouth.  Then it might be the child kept the toothbrush in their mouth for several seconds.  The important thing to remember is to avoid the battle.  It will only make things worse and may even increase your child’s anxiety over dental care.
  4. Occupational Therapy:  If your child has a real struggle with oral aversion to tooth brushing, you may want to seek help from a professional.  Occupational therapists have some great strategies to try.
  5. Don’t Give Up:  The most important thing to remember is “Don’t give up!”  Usually these things work themselves out over time.

As parents we know the importance of good oral health for our children. Sometimes this can be a challenge, we may not know how to do that properly.  Use these tips to help your child take care of their teeth.

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